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NEW DAY SATURDAY
Sheriff's Deputy Shot Dead in Texas; Suspect Arrested In Bangkok Bombing; Egypt Sentences Al Jazeera Journalists To Prison; Florida Braces For Deadly Tropical Storm Erika; Donald Trump Heads to Nashville; New Details on Condition of Survivor of Live TV Shooting; Michael Vick's New Job. Aired 6-7a ET
Aired August 29, 2015 - 06:09 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[06:00:11] VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Two breaking stories this morning. A Texas deputy is killed while pumping gas now, there is a manhunt happening this morning to find his killer.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Also breaking, an arrest in Bangkok for a man believed to be behind a shrine bombing. That bombing killed 20 people and wounded more than 120.
It's so grateful to have you on board with us here this morning. I'm Christi Paul.
BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good to be with you. We are starting with that breaking news out of Texas where a sheriff's deputy has been gunned down.
PAUL: Officials this morning are calling Deputy Darren Goforth's death unprovoked and cowardly saying Goforth was simply returning to his patrol car after pumping gas in Harris County and someone apparently then walked up behind him and just shot him.
BLACKWELL: An active manhunt is happening right now to find this man. This is surveillance -- a still from the surveillance video, we'll have more on the suspected killer in a moment.
But first, needless to say, the greater Houston area is on high alert and there is a lot of emotion. This is the sheriff you're about to hear from. This is the first press conference after this killing a few hours ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHERIFF RON HICKMAN, HARRIS COUNTY, TEXAS: Deputy Darren H. Goforth, 47-year-old, 10-year veteran of the Harris County Sheriff's Department was literally gunned down at a service station just down the road in what appears to be an unprovoked execution-style killing of a police officer.
It strikes us all at the heart of public service so I think it's important to ask for the prayers of our community for this deputy, his family, and our department family. We will hunt this person down and do our best to bring that person to justice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Here is, again, that wanted suspected killer. Officials say that he left the scene in this red pickup truck. Nick Valencia is following the latest developments for us this morning. Nick, get us up-to-speed on the suspect and the search.
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Victor. We got off the phone with the Harris County Sheriff's Office. They cannot confirm the local news reports that are being reported right now. Our local affiliate, KTRK, is saying that this suspect has been arrested as of about 30 minutes ago.
Harris County cannot confirm that to CNN, but they are looking for this man here, described as a black male about 5'10" to 6 feet tall between 20 and 25 years old.
And this all stems a fatal shooting of a sheriff's deputy in the late hours of Thursday as this sheriff's deputy, 10-year veteran, Darren Goforth is pumping gas and goes into gas station and comes out.
And according to sheriff seemingly unprovoked this man that you're just looking at there comes up behind the sheriff and shoots him in the back of the head and continues to shoot, Victor and Christi, as this sheriff's deputy is on the ground.
The deputy leaves behind a wife and two children. He is described as a terrific office in Harris County in the Houston area there. People, right now, their local affiliates, I should say, local authorities are looking for this suspect.
They describe him as armed and possibly armed and dangerous. We should mention that local affiliates in Houston are saying that the suspect has been arrested. We just cannot confirm that to you guys right now.
PAUL: It was so frightening to read that when the deputy fell to the ground, the gunman, they said, just stood over him and kept shooting as you mentioned that he kept shooting him. You have to wonder what was going on in this person's mind to continue shooting even after he had, obviously, seriously wounded the deputy.
VALENCIA: And of course, we want to know the motive here. Sheriff's deputies don't know exactly what could have compelled somebody to do this, whether or not the men knew each other.
Part of the line of the investigation is 30 minutes before this shooting. The Sheriff's Deputy Darren Goforth was investigating an accident and they want to know if there was any connection between the fatal shooting at the gas station and what happened 30 minutes before.
But you know, we have been hearing a lot about this in the last couple of weeks, deputies being scared in the line of duty. You know, we saw that case in Alabama where an officer said he hesitated pulling over a suspect and now we are seeing another case of a deputy in the line of fire being gunned down.
BLACKWELL: All right, Nick Valencia, thank you so much.
All right, Deputy Goforth's murder marks the first Texas law enforcement killing this year. With me now is CNN law enforcement analyst, Tom Fuentes.
[06:05:01] Tom, before we get to the specifics of this, you and I have been in this position starting a show several times this year, several times this summer, starting off with the killing of a law enforcement officer. Is there some broader national theme, or do you believe that these are isolated unforced incidents?
TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: I think, Victor, you know, there could be some commentary as to whether the narrative that's out that's so negative against police officers may contribute to someone justifying in their own mind assassinating a police officer.
This kind of reminds me of the incident where two officers in New York City were killed last December and the individual there, a member of a gang from Baltimore, drove to New York and posted several items saying he was going to give wings to pigs and make them angels and assassinated two officers sitting in their squad car.
Here you have a situation where an officer is not involved in an enforcement action. It's not during a traffic stop or interrupting a robbery or a burglary. He's filled his car with gas, was returning to it and then was clearly assassinated especially by the multiple shots once he was on the ground.
When I looked into this incident, I figured that the police officers would have a pretty good description and witness account of what had occurred because there were reports that the gunman said nothing, stood over him, continued to shoot, shot more shots into his body as he was on the ground.
So that would indicate that somebody had to be close enough to hear whether or not the shooter made any statements while he was shooting him. So I think between the -- with the photographs, the description of the vehicle.
I'm sure that somebody in the greater Houston area is familiar with who this is and may already know and, as nick mentioned, may already have taken him into custody.
BLACKWELL: So Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman says that this gunman shot and killed Deputy Goforth for no apparent reason and it seemed to be unprovoked. In your experience, are killings like this typically as random as this one appears to be or do you believe as time goes on throughout the morning or maybe the week, we will learn that there is something more here?
FUENTES: We don't know. You're right, Victor. We may learn that there is something more to this, but you know, this year already in the country, we are averaging almost three police officers per month shot and killed in the line of duty. Now, again, many of them are in enforcement actions trying to arrest somebody, trying to make a traffic stop or interrupt a crime. But in this case, again, like the New York case, you clearly have someone who had no other encounter, initiated the encounter with the police officer for the purpose of killing him and did so.
So I think that this type of assassination is what really, you know, makes officers that much more edgy out on the street. As Nick mentioned, you had the case a couple of weeks ago in Birmingham where the officer later stated that he hesitated because of all the narrative in the media of police officers shooting unarmed people.
Well, they are not unarmed for long if they are able to jump on the police officer, take his gun and then in that case, beat him into unconsciousness.
BLACKWELL: Deputy Darren Goforth, husband and father, killed while pumping gas. Tom Fuentes, thank you so much.
FUENTES: Thank you, Victor.
PAUL: We are also following breaking news this morning out of Bangkok, Thailand. New pictures coming into CNN here as you see them, Thai place say they have arrested a man that they believe is the main suspect in that bomb attack that killed 20 people at a popular shrine earlier this month.
Police described the man as a Turkish national and that evidence of linking him to the bomb was found in the apartment where they found him. Saima Mohsin is joining us on the phone from Bangkok. So Saima, what other details do you have about this suspect in particular?
SAIMA MOHSIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Police have sealed off the area and not letting anyone in or out of the area close to this apartment now. They are now searching. As you say, they have arrested the man and the police spokesman told CNN they believe this is the man they are looking for.
You'll remember that CCTV picture was released at the time. They said the man was wanted and he was seen leaving that backpack underneath a bench inside the shrine and then exiting the shrine.
This man who they have arrested they say is a Turkish national and this is all yet to be verified but once they take him away, they will have to carry out further identification.
Of course, we have had a few false starts in the past, but they are saying, Christi, they have found ball bearings inside this apartment this man has been arrested from.
[06:10:04] Ball bearings exactly the same as the ones found at the shrine bombing site so these are the ball bearings that people were killed by and left even the shrine statue of the center of the shrine damaged and scarred permanently.
They say they have found some evidence already that links this man to the bombing. They will need to question him further and we will keep you posted -- Christi.
PAUL: All right, this is 12 days since this bombing happened. Any indication as to how it was they were able to get to this man?
MOHSIN: That is exactly what I was referring to, Christi, when I said we have had a lot of false starts. Police have released some information but not all. You'll remember they had told me at the time they identified two other suspects in the footage and they turn out to be tourists and tour guides.
And they didn't tell us how they eliminated another woman in a black t-shirt as simply being a witness and passer-by rather than involved who they also named as a suspect. They have not giving away much information as to how they are getting to the conclusion they are getting to.
There are a lot of confused signals coming out of the Thai police. They say they know this man they were searching for, the main suspect, was likely to be a foreign national.
Now, of course, CNN had also interviewed that motorbike taxi driver and the taxi driver who took him to and from the shrine, both saying he did not seem to speak Thai or English so they believe him to be a foreigner. So we don't know how they got to it, but right now, they are searching inside the apartment -- Christi.
PAUL: All right, Saima Mohsin, reporting for us there. Thank you so much, Saima, and we'll keep you updated on that this morning.
BLACKWELL: Another big story breaking this morning. An Egyptian court convicts three journalists from Al Jazeera on charges related to terrorism. We got a live report from Cairo coming up.
PAUL: Tropical Storm Erika heading for the U.S. after leaving a mess in the Caribbean. More than a dozen people are dead because of Erika.
Also ahead, Donald Trump verbally attacks a former congressman and his wife.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Who is Uma married to? One of the great sleaze bags of our time. Anthony Weiner, do you know that? You know the little bing, bing, bing? Bong, bong. I love you very much.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: All right, breaking news now in Egypt, this morning, three Al Jazeera journalists have been sentenced to three years in prison. One of them sentenced in absentia. They were charged with aiding the Muslim Brotherhood, which is now considered a terrorist organization in Egypt after the army overthrew former President Mohammad Morsi. That was in 2013. This case has been called an attack on the freedom of the press worldwide.
Let's go to CNN correspondent, Ian Lee in Cairo. Ian, explain exactly how these journalists were found to have aided the Muslim Brotherhood.
IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Victor, in the judge's statement during the trial, he said that they were not journalists that they were operating without permits, without licenses, and also that they were airing false news in order to harm the country.
Now, that verdict coming out despite the fact that it has been widely condemned around the world, you have the United Nations, the European Union, the United States, the U.K., U.K., many countries, Canada, coming out and saying that this is a sham trial.
That this is not a trial that these journalists were just acting and working as journalists and it has been seen wildly as a political case. Also here in Egypt, we have had, in the past, Egypt's president say that he regrets that this trial went forward.
We also have, get this, the court's own technical committee, the appeals court that issued the ruling that this case could be appealed, said that there was no evidence that these journalists supported the Muslim Brotherhood.
Despite all of that, today, a judge today still came out and said they were guilty of trying to harm Egypt's image, of not operating with the proper credentials and he gave two of them three years in prison and Mohammed was given three and a half years in prison.
I talked to Mal Clooney after the trial and she expressed outrage saying their next step is to go to Egypt's president and see if he will intervene to get Mohammed Fatame deported to Canada.
We saw the correspondent for Al Jazeera who was here. He was deported to Australia so they are looking for the same sort of deal for Mohammed Fatame can be deported.
But there is also Baher Mohammad, the third Al Jazeera journalist, he has now 3-1/2-year prison sentence and they will be appealing -- Victor.
BLACKWELL: All right, Ian Lee in Al Jazeera saying this whole case has been heavily politicized and not conducted in a free and fair matter. Ian Lee for us there in Cairo, thanks.
Tropical Storm Erika barreled through the island nation of Dominica. Now this powerful storm is making its way to Florida.
Plus, police investigate a series of sniper shootings along two highways in Michigan.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [06:22:49]
BLACKWELL: Don't let the categorization of a tropical storm fool you. This is still a dangerous storm. Tropical Storm Erika ripping through the tiny island in the Caribbean of Dominica. Twenty people killed there. It dumped a foot of rain in fewer than two hours.
You see that there were mudslides and homes were wiped away and it's churning its way toward Florida. In response, Florida Governor Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency.
Meteorologist, Allison Chinchar is here with us. This storm has strengthened and weakened, but the rain even if the winds died down can still cause a lot of damage.
ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: That's true. We tend to see that tropical storms end up causing bigger flooding events than the hurricanes actually do mainly because they just don't move as fast and they can dump a lot of rain in a short amount of time.
Here is the latest on Tropical Storm Erika now down to 40-mile-per- hour winds and barely holding on to tropical storm status and likely because it hit a lot of those higher elevations over Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
The latest track has shifted just a little bit farther west so now it's going to slide over Cuba, weaken even a little bit more but then as it starts to just get past the Florida keys, it will re-intensify back to a tropical storm and sliding right along the western coast near Naples and Tampa and up near the panhandle of Florida.
Again, that is even if it maintains on its current track. The reason we are kind of all over the place, these are the models that estimate where they think this storm will go. And notice they are all over the place.
That's why it's been a very hard storm to really get a grasp on exactly where it's going to go. Here is the exact time line. It should slide over Cuba late this evening and Sunday night and up to Naples early Monday more than.
If it sticks with this particular track, it should end up sliding up towards Panama City by early Wednesday morning. But, again, the flooding is really going to be the big concern with this storm even if it does get back up to tropical storm strength.
[06:25:02] BLACKWELL: All right, let's hope it just continues to move through and doesn't just sit over one community. That can cause a lot of damage there. Allison Chinchar, thank you.
PAUL: And wondering if you remember images like this.
PAUL: Today marks ten years since Hurricane Katrina made landfall in the gulf coast. The storm and disaster response afterwards killed at least 1,800 people and those are the images that you just don't forget.
BLACKWELL: A special task force is investigating possible sniper attacks in Michigan along a Freeway here. The Calhoun County Sheriff's Office says that several driver's vehicles were hit by gunshots late last month. The attacks happened between I-94 and I-69 between Battle Creek and the Indiana border.
PAUL: Breaking news we are following this morning. A Texas deputy is dead. Shot from behind as he walked to his patrol car early this morning. This is that deputy. What is happening now as authorities try to pin down a suspect?
BLACKWELL: Also, the Virginia station whose journalists were killed on live television, it's holding its first live report since the shooting. A pretty emotional moment and we are going to share that with you.
PAUL: And Donald Trump attends an event, charging a $100 a head, but he says it's not a fundraiser.
BLACKWELL: No fundraiser.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have completed the Serena slam twice. You currently hold all four major titles and you're staring down the barrel of doing something that no one else done for nearly 30 years. What have you learned about yourself that you've been able to get to this point?
SERENA WILLIAMS, PROFESSIONAL TENNIS PLAYER: I learned to have a tough mind and face a lot of adversity. I won that and when I was a little bit better and close to losing in the third round, but I think each grand slam has such an amazing story and, you know, I just look forward to being at the Open and I'm excited to be there and no one wants to be there more than me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[06:30:00] HICKMAN: I have been in law enforcement 45 years. I don't recall another incident this cold-blooded and cowardly.
PAUL: Continuing following that breaking news out of Texas this morning, where a sheriff's deputy has been shot dead. Officials say Deputy Darren Goforth was simply pumping gas when someone came up behind him and opened fire, killing him in an instant. An active manhunt under way right now. We understand in the greater Houston area to find this man. You see him there. This was seen in the surveillance video and this is the truck he was seen leaving in, a red Ford ranger. Local affiliate reporting that the suspect has been caught, but police are not confirming that yet to CNN. We do continue to make calls this morning. Goforth was a ten-year veteran in the department, just 47 years old, and a wife and two children now this morning are trying to reconcile all of this. We are also watching breaking news out of Thailand. Local police say
they have arrested a suspect in the bombing that killed 20 people and injured 120 others earlier this month. The man is described as a Turkish national and police say they found ball bearings linking him to the blast in the apartment where he was found. Apparently, they would think kind of ball bearings that were found at the scene. At least ten people may be involved in this - and police are still investigating possible connections to international terrorist groups. We will have a live report for you at the top of the hour.
BLACKWELL: Let's turn now to the 2016 race and Donald Trump is heading to Nashville today. And this comes after he spoke at an event in Massachusetts, which Trump made sure that he at least told everyone was not a fundraiser. We will get to that in just a few minutes.
But first, let's talk about the event. Trump renewed attacks and now he's spreading the love around, taking aim at a top aide for Hillary Clinton. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: You look at trade pacts. China, eating our lunch. Japan, like we're children. Mexico, both in trade and at the border, what they are doing to us is terrible. And I have great respect for China, for Japan. I love the people. I love the people of Mexico. I love Hispanics. Nobody - nobody loves Hispanics like I do. I probably have more than almost anybody working for me. We have some low energy people. They are really low. I'm not going to say Jeb is low energy, but he is pretty low. Who would you rather have negotiate with Iran? Trump or Jeb?
TRUMP: How about this? Trump or Hillary?
TRUMP: Who is Huma married to? One of the great sleeze bags of our time. Anthony Weiner. Did you know that? She is married to Anthony Weiner. You know the little bing, bing, bing? Bong. I love you very much. So, no, think of it. So Huma is getting classified secrets. She is married to Anthony Weiner, who is a perv -- no, he is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: All right. So, shortly after those comments, Clinton spokesman tweeted this out. Donald Trump has spent the summer saying offensive things about women, but there is no place for patently false personal attacks toward a staff member.
BLACKWELL: "He should be ashamed of himself and others in his own party should take him home and to stand up to him and draw the line for once. It's embarrassing to watch, frankly." That from Nick Merrill of the Clinton campaign. Let's talk about this with the CNN political commentator Ben Ferguson and with us, political anchor for "New York One News" Errol Lewis. Good to have both of you back.
BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Good morning.
BLACKWELL: Ben, I want to start with you. One could argue that there are strategic advantages to many of the other attacks. Many of the other statements. What is the strategy here with going after Huma Abedin?
FERGUSON: No, I think he is pushing the narrative that Hillary Clinton cannot be trusted and that said, one word, people don't trust her. They associated her with the words liar. And I think his point was you can't trust her and look at the people she's surrounding herself with. They have an access to these emails, to top secret information, and then look who they are married to. Can you trust Anthony Weiner? Can you trust Huma? Can you trust Hillary? So, the way that he put it, there is going to be a lot of people that say it was not very classy or tactful, but he was telling the truth. She did have access to this information, she was around Hillary Clinton. I definitely wouldn't trust her husband knowing what we know about him. So I think for him, this is probably going to be one of the situations where the blunt talk, people are going to like it.
BLACKWELL: So, Errol, certainly the people there in the room ate it up, but is there any reason to think that because Huma Abedin is married to this former congressman she is sharing any of this information and let's also say Huma Abedin is not just any Clinton staffer.
ERROL LEWIS: Well, that's right. And first my way of disclosure, Anthony Weiner appears on my show every week. We talk about New York City politics. He and a number of other ex-officials. And for your viewers who don't know what all went on with Anthony Weiner. We should be clear he was caught up in a sexting texting scandal and he resigned from Congress, and it was a real problem for him, but it was all consensual. Nobody came and said that he did anything to them, no laws were broken, you know, nothing like that. For Donald Trump to sort of I guess run this line, it's a great talking point on right wing radio as my friend Ben knows very well, it's sort of a punch line that doesn't need much of an introduction.
And so, I think Donald Trump was really just playing for laughs for the crowd. There is nothing at all serious there as far as a serious allegation. If he has a serious allegation to make, that would be one thing, but it doesn't sound like it was even meant to be taken seriously.
BLACKWELL: And Huma Abedin has worked with Secretary Clinton for many, many years close and trusted, confidant staffer there. Let's talk now about this event that was held. A hundred dollars a head to get in. And do we have the sign that was outside this event? Yeah, let's read this. "Please have checks made payable to Donald J. Trump for president incorporated, or cash ready on entry." Now that sign is outside. But this is what Trump said about the event.
Apparently, we don't have it. So Trump has said that this is not a fund-raiser. Not a fund-raiser. Checks are being made payable to the campaign, Ben, looks like a fund-raiser and sounds like a fund-raiser. What is it?
FERGUSON: Yeah, it's a fund-raiser and these are those little things that I think what can get any candidate in trouble. If you go out there and every day on the campaign trail you tell people how rich you are and that you're so rich that you don't have to be beholding the donors and you're turning down million dollar checks left and right and getting off of plane and someone is trying to hand you 3 million and you say no, I don't want it. But you take seven dollars from an average American who sends it out to the campaign. He said that's what he wants, he wants the little donations, not the big money and I'm going to turn it all down. And then you have a fund-raiser and then you try to tell people it's not a fund-raiser. Now, a $100, they are probably not making money a lot of money for his campaign. It is expensive to put these on. It is expensive for the security. I'm assuming the food was probably pretty good. And that argument, all right, I can see it, but at the end of the day when you say you're a multimillionaire and you're not doing fund-raisers and someone has to write a check for a hundred bucks to get in, he says people came for free too. I understand that, but it's either fund-raising and you're going to take money or you are not going to do it. You can't mingle the two together in these big, you know, huge statements that he makes, that I turn down millions every day from prospective donors.
BLACKWELL: Is he getting any big checks, any indication? I mean there has been no release or disclosure from these other groups that had been set up, make America great again and we know there is a nonprofit. But Errol, he has derided the million dollar, 5 million, 15 million dollar checks. 700 people at a hundred bucks a head is 70 grand. It's not going to make or break Donald Trump. Why does he do it?
LEWIS: No, it's not. But I think look, if we look back in the last election cycle, it costs all in about a billion dollars for Mitt Romney and for Barack Obama.
And Donald Trump, while he is a billionaire, I don't think anybody - and this is how they get to be rich, right? They don't - they don't really just spend money blindly and the reality is he can look at Jeb Bush who he has been attacking every day. Jeb Bush has a super-PAC that has a 100 million dollars ready to go. If it all starts getting aimed at Donald Trump and perhaps he has a reason to believe that it will be, he's going to have to fight back. Let's keep in mind, Donald Trump made his fortune as a real estate developer. Real estate development at least in New York is based on other people's money. You don't spend your own money. You get somebody else to put up the money. And so, I think both as a business model, as a practical necessity, the days of Donald Trump saying I'm not going to take any money from anybody are going to come to an end. He has got at least one super-PAC backing him.
FERGUSON: He has got more than one that's going to come out and favored him. He was even talking about that last night. But there are just acts that are forming because they love what we are doing here. Donald Trump is going to have to play the traditional game of raising money when you're running a national campaign at some point. In fact, it's - I think it's already started to happen. It's just - this is a big promise that you're not going to take money, you're not going to fund-raise, and then when all of a sudden you start doing it, I think people start to say, maybe you are a little bit ...
BLACKWELL: And you know what, it made him so attractive to supporters that he is the unconventional candidate and maybe that is changing. Errol Lewis, Ben Ferguson, thank you both.
LEWIS: Thank you, Victor.
PAUL: New details this morning about the one person who survived that Virginia shooting that was captured live on television. We will take you to Roanoke.
Also, NFL player Michael Vick, he has a new job. The same old controversy, though, is following him it seems. Find out what fans of his new team are saying about their new quarterback.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm live in Roanoke, WBDJ 7. You are welcome.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My girl.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They made it through. A moment here between a WBDJ reporter and the cameraman after rapping the station's first live event since two of their colleagues were shot and killed on live television. The team covered a high school football game last night. And the number 7. It was - this is station's channel number. Painted on the 30 yard lines of the football field and fans from this community, they observed a moment of silence before the game.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: Just can't imagine what it had to be like standing there.
BLACKWELL: The first one.
PAUL: The first one. Yeah. We are getting some new details, by the way, on the condition of Vicki Gardner, she is the one person who survived that horrific on-air shooting. She was shot in the back as she stood, next to and talked with Alison Parker and Adam Ward. CNN's Polo Sandoval is live in Roanoke. So, Polo, what have you learned this morning about her condition, first of all?
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christi, she is doing very well, according to her family. Vicki Gardner story of survival and also, her journey on this road to recovery is truly offering and adding some hope for a community that really needs it. Behind me, a reminder that this community is still continuing to rally together to try to cope with the loss of those two young journalists and really, they were a major staple or a major part of this community here. Gardner, the director of the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Congress, as you mentioned there, was being interviewed at the time of the shooting. We are told by her family that she's had to undergo at least two surgeries losing her right kidney and parts of her colon. And nonetheless, just showing tremendous strength. Not only right now during the road to recovery, but also at the time of the shooting, her husband saying that she was actually able to make that phone call and call him right after the shooting itself. Here is a bit of the interview that - to ABC News.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TIM GARDNER, VICKI GARDNER'S HUSBAND: She got up and walked to the ambulance after she being shot, but she didn't know the extent of her injuries at that point. But a surgeon told me that a couple of centimeters and she would not be walking and she would not be alive.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANDOVAL: And so, this morning, she is awake, she is talking and continuous to recover. And this morning also, at least later today, we do expect at least a bit of normalcy at the scene of the shooting as the actual - Smith Lake Chamber of Commerce is expected to reopen later today at 10:30.
PAUL: All right. Polo Sandoval, I appreciate it. Thank you.
BLACKWELL: A major break in the investigation into a deadly Bangkok bombing. Police say they have their man and evidence linking him to the crime.
PAUL: Plus, a missed verdict for a former prep school student cleared of rape charges. Could the family of the victim, though, pursue a civil lawsuit against the school? We are going to talk about that.
BLACKWELL: An activist associated with the Black Lives Matter movement have unveiled a public policy agenda. Find out their plans for ending what they call or at least limiting police interventions and improving community interactions. That's directly from their plan. We will talk about it coming up.
PAUL: A former student is facing up to 11 years in prison following a split verdict in what has been dubbed the prep school rape case. We are talking about 19-year old Owen Labrie was cleared of the most serious rape charges, but the jury did hand down convictions on five other counts including a felony. Boris Sanchez is following the story for us.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christie, Victor, Owen Labrie was convicted of five of the nine charges against him, though he was not convicted on the more serious felony charges against him on aggravated sexual assault. It was very tense inside the courtroom even before we went inside. The victim was visibly shaken, anxiously shaken as she went in there. She was consoled by her mom and sister several times as she sat next to them in court. There wasn't a clear visceral response from the first verdict was read. This is the fact that he lured her with a computer, lured a minor with a computer. Owen Labrie started crying after that. But the more strong response came later when the jury decided not to convict him on those aggravated sexual assault charges. The victim became very emotional and you could hear her crying. Owen Labrie, in turn, hunched over and became emotional himself when the misdemeanor sexual assault charges were read. He had to be consulted by his attorney Jay Carney. Now, after all the verdicts were read he shared a moment with his father, returned around, obviously overcome with emotion. He did not expect to be convicted and his mother was also weeping. His sentencing is set for October 29th. He faces a maximum of 11 years in prison. There was also some debate as to whether or not he may be a flight risk, but ultimately the judge decided to let him off on $15,000 bond. One note, he will have to register as a sex offender. That's something that will follow him for the rest of his life. Though, he can appeal the decision after 15 years. His attorney says this is something that has altered his future forever. In the meantime, a family spokesperson for the victim says that she can, quote, now walk out of here with her head held high. Christi, Victor?
PAUL: Thank you so much. HLN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney Joey Jackson has been watching this along with us. So, Joey, this verdict, as we look at it split, it almost seems as though the jury didn't completely believe either the accuser or the defendant in this case?
JOEY JACKSON, HLN LEGAL ANALYST: That's right, Christi. Good morning. And you see that based upon what they did here because remember what he was cleared of. He was cleared of the issues relating to forcible rape, or we should say rape without consent because it need not be forcible, but the forcible implies that the victim said no. And so, the jury apparently believed that there was sexual intercourse but that sexual intercourse was consensual. However, it's still a crime, based upon the age of the victim and the age of the defendant in the case.
JACKSON: And so, absolutely a mixed verdict. And, of course, the most compelling charge is the enticement by computer charge that he was found guilty of. That's the felony that requires sex offender registry and that's something significant that the defense, I think, will appeal.
PAUL: And we know that in 15 years he can go and try to repeal that or get that reduced or gone. He can't get it completely removed from his record, though, can he? That has to be -- to get off the sex register, that can't be easy.
JACKSON: It can't be at all. And I'll tell you what the defense is going to do here, and they have been eluding to it by their statements, they are going to attack the conviction itself. Not based upon the jury's findings. Juries have a very difficult job. They weigh the issues, they weigh the facts, they weigh the circumstances and they render a verdict based upon what they believe happened beyond a reasonable doubt. But I think the legal argument to be had here by the defense, Christi, is that the statute enticement by computer was not meant for teenagers who are communicating engaging - perhaps looking to get together to have an encounter, it was meant for more the defense will argue predatory conduct, meant for adults who don't know minors who are going after them. And so, I think what the defense will do is they will make - they will file legal papers arguing that it was overreaching in this case to bring forth a charge against a teenager predicated upon that. That's going to be their argument and if they are successful, then, of course, the whole issue of sex offense registry falls off also.
PAUL: OK, Joey, I only have a couple of seconds, but I want to read you a part of this family statement. They said they felt betrayed that St. Paul school allowed and fostered a toxic culture that "left our daughter and other students at risk to sexual violence. We trusted the school to protect her and it failed us."
Do you see a civil suit against the school?
JACKSON: I really do, Christi. I think what you could expect, is the family, of course, saying that this is no longer our community, I think they are going to say that the school knew or should have known about this whole senior salute, which was getting together with, of course, underage or young females, and the school should have taken precautionary steps to prevent this type of behavior. And so, in the future I do certainly see a civil litigation for monetary damages, not that it gives the victim anything back but it certainly goes a long way of preventing something in the future.
PAUL: Joey Jackson, appreciate your insight, sir. Thank you.
JACKSON: Thank you, Christi.
BLACKWELL: A bit of sports before we end the hour. Michael Vick is officially a part of the Steelers nation. This week, Pittsburgh signed Vick to a one-year deal to be backup for star quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. And Roethlisberger says he is all right with this as long as it helps the team. Of course, not everyone is happy about this move. Online petition to get him off the team. More than 28,000 signatures so far. Andy Scholes joins us with more. Andy.
ANDY SCHOLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Victor, you know, people still get upset when Michael Vick is mentioned in NFL circles. Let's not forget he has been in the league now for six years since he went to prison for dog fighting. He played five years with the Eagles, last year he was on the Jets. The Eagles thought so highly of him, you know, when he played for their team. But they gave him another 100 million dollar contract. So, Michael Vick, since serving two years in prison, he has been a model citizen. So, the people there signing this petition, obviously, don't believe that Vick should get a second chance. You know, this is more than a second chance. He played with the Eagles, like I say, but now, he's coming to the Steelers, and people signed this petition. Obviously, a lot of dog lovers who will be signing this petition. I love this - I love my dog just as much as anybody else so, you know -- but I'm in the camp that believes Michael Vick definitely should get these second chances and people shouldn't think he shouldn't doesn't deserve a job. But, you know, who cares what I think. I want to know what people are thinking at home. Use the #newdaycnn or leave a message on our Facebook page at facebook.com/Newday and we will read some of those the next hour.
BLACKWELL: Andy, why do you hate dogs?
SCHOLES: I love dogs. My dog is basically my best friend and I spend hours upon hours with her every day.
BLACKWELL: I'm kidding.
Thank you so much.
SCHOLES: Thanks for putting me on the spot, Victor!
BLACKWELL: Quick break. We will be back.